Notre Dame defensive line coach Mike Elston has heard the cries from fans that the Irish need improved play from their defensive ends, which is why it was disappointing when they only signed one in the Class of 2018.
Justin Ademilola looks like a good kid and a good prospect, but the issue requires a number of very good players and Notre Dame just wasn’t able to bring them in this class. However, Elston says that there is something of a reason for it.
Sure, the Irish would have loved to have added a few more this year, but a loaded Class of 2019 had at least some influence on their decision-making.
“I’ve been at Notre Dame now going on nine years. I haven’t had a stronger group of underclassmen that I’m recruiting than I have this year in 2019,” Elston said according to Mike Vorel of the South Bend Tribune. “This could be the best defensive line haul that we’ve ever had here, and a lot of it is because I’ve been able to put 2018 to bed and get moving on the 19s and go visit their schools all throughout January.”
Those are obviously incredibly powerful words and there’s clear benefit to the fact that the Irish were able to shift their focus so early. However, the result is still the most important element.
There’s still a year until the next National Signing Day and then Notre Dame fans might rest easy about the fact that they didn’t do much at defensive end in 2018. But, until then (or until some defensive ends start getting regular pressure on the quarterback), Elston and the Irish coaching staff are going to continue hearing those same old complaints.
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